These were topics that were discussed during the theme evening led by Elena Karlström, the chairman of the Left Party in Stockholm, in ASOV Stockholm’s premises in Skarpnäck. The evening consisted of a wonderful community and joy at the same time that challenges with destructive social structures and ways to work for change were discussed.
ASOV bases its activities on supporting those who are exposed or are at risk of being exposed to violence and sexual abuse in close relationships, but also the target group’s family members and close relatives. Violence in intimate relationships affects both women, men and children, but women are affected more often and repeatedly. Many children experience violence in their home environment, and the violence is most often carried out by a man. Violence and vulnerability in close relationships can consist of serious crimes but also barely noticeable acts. Violence can be divided into sexual violence, physical violence, psychological violence, social vulnerability and economic vulnerability.
The abused women that ASOV Stockholm meets in our activities often live with a partner who suffers from mental illness that can be traced back to war, flight or other traumatic events. Although abused women find it taboo to seek help for their situation, it is at least as taboo for men to seek help for mental illness. The mental illness may also have worsened many times during the period in Sweden if the sufferers faced difficulties in integrating into society.
Racist social structures contribute to difficult integration for our target group in society and mental health is rarely improved by the fact that they often need to work at 2-3 workplaces at the same time to manage to cover costs. In order to reduce violence in the home, inequalities in access to the financial resources in society need to decrease, as well as behavior needs to change and knowledge about violence and ill-health to increase. This is something that in turn leads to increased democratic participation.
We at ASOV Stockholm work daily to ensure that the women and men we meet can provide themselves with the tools required to change their behavior and demand their rights. If you or someone you know needs support to change your situation, do not hesitate to contact us. Contact details can be found here.